20th-century Archaeologist Quotes
Almost every statement in prehistory should be qualified by the phrase: 'On the evidence available today the balance of probability favors the view that'.
V. Gordon Childe
Every archaeologist knows in his heart why he digs. He digs, in pity and humility, that the dead may live again, that what is past may not be forever lost, that something may be salvaged from the wreck of ages.
To excavate is to open a book written in the language that the centuries have spoken into the earth.
Inference is the key or the methodological pivot of archaeology, for it is only through inference that inanimate objects are reassembled into the milieu of life. Inferences are drawn from analogies.
Like its sister discipline, sociocultural anthropology, prehistory has a tendency to invent a term for its own sake and then argue about what it means for twenty years rather than defining the term in the first place.
Progress in science depends not only upon new data but also upon the careful elaboration of new approaches to old data as well as new.
Classificatory systems are merely tools, tools of analysis, manufactured and employed by students, just as shovels, trowels and whisk brooms are tools of excavation.
John Otis Brew
One has to see a great number of implements, classify them, see them again several times, before one acquires a "typological eye."
At a time when most think of outer space as the final frontier, we must remember that a great deal of unfinished business remains here on earth.
The word pharmakon, whence pharmacy is derived, meant in Greek not only medicament, poison, or magical procedure, but also that which is slain to expiate the crimes of a city, like the scapegoat of Biblical times.... In other words, it meant "what carries off disease."
Quote of the day
Myth is neither a lie nor a confession: it is an inflexion.
Predictions that didn't happen
If it's on the Internet it must be true
Remarkable Last Words (or Near-Last Words)
Philip James Bailey
Letitia Elizabeth Landon